ROUND ROCK, Texas — As Americans deal with the economic hardships resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, new laws have suspended federal student loan payments through September 30, 2020. However, students who attended the University of Phoenix between 2012-2016 may be eligible for significantly more robust relief from their student loan debt, even after the freeze on federal loan repayments is lifted.
The Carlson Law Firm is currently investigating claims by the Federal Trade Commission that for years, the for-profit giant engaged in a fraudulent and deceptive advertising campaign aimed at inducing prospective students to enroll at the University of Phoenix, with the promise of a high-paying job at a top company. The University of Phoenix’s settlement for $191 with the FTC cancels debts owed directly to the for-profit giant but doesn’t address federal or other private student loans.
Many of the students that were duped by the University of Phoenix’s fraudulent marketing practices were current and former military members, many of whom exhausted their GI Bill education benefits to earn their degree, only to be left with grim job prospects after graduation.
In 2012, former President Barack Obama signed an executive order that blocked for-profit colleges such as the University of Phoenix from gaining favorable access to military installations to recruit prospective students.
But, according to records, the University of Phoenix side-stepped this directive in a number of significant ways such as:
- Sponsoring hundreds of events on military bases including concerts, Super Bowl parties and father-daughter dances;
- Cultivating relationships with veterans organizations; and
- Using military insignias on school marketing without required permissions.
Over, the past five years the University spent more than $1 million sponsoring events at America’s largest military bases—including an Easter egg hunt at Fort Hood, Texas.
Military students weren’t the only demographic targeted by the for-profit college. The University of Phoenix’s ad campaign also targeted the general population with ads that touted prominent partnerships with Fortune 500 companies like Adobe and Yahoo,, which the school claimed were aimed at developing curriculum and securing jobs for graduates. According to the FTC’s investigation, these partnerships never existed.
“Many of the economic challenges currently felt in our country, as we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, have been felt by graduates of for-profit colleges such as the University of Phoenix for years,” said John Fabry, Of Counsel at The Carlson Law Firm, P.C. “Lured by the false prospect of a good job at some of America’s top companies, these students worked hard for years and successfully graduated, only to be left with a heavy student loan debt burden and grim job prospects.”
Attorneys John Fabry and Luis Munoz are currently representing hundreds of students in similar cases against DeVry University, filed in federal court in Texas and California. In both cases, the federal judges overseeing the mass actions have denied DeVry’s motions to dismiss and the cases will now proceed on the merits.
ATTORNEYS JOHN FABRY AND LUIS MUÑOZ ARE AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT.
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